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NIH announces Alzheimer’s research funding for Africa


$3m fund will support development and improvement of dementia research infrastructure

The National Institutes of Health in the United States has announced a US$3 million fund to support the development or improvement of research infrastructure for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in Africa.

The fund will promote collaboration between US and African scientists, the NIH said in its 25 October announcement. It added that the number of Africans aged 60 or above is set to triple between 2020 and 2050, and that this will likely drive up the prevalence of dementia and related health issues.

The funding, from the NIH’s National Institute of Ageing and the Fogarty International Center, will be shared between four awards starting next year. Grants will pay for the development or enhancement of infrastructure for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia, such as tools, surveys, biospecimens or data.

The programme is expected to build sustainable neuroscience research capacity in Africa, with the ultimate aim of developing ways for the continent to deal with its growing Alzheimer’s burden, the NIH says in its call for applications.

The call states that proposals must be relevant for Africa’s setting. For example, it says, older Africans are more likely to live in rural areas, spend more time in multigenerational households, and play an active role as caregivers of young people.

Suggested research areas include studies of genetic contributions to Alzheimer’s disease biology in Africa, the role of environmental exposures including air pollution and the role of infections.

The deadline for applications is 14 February next year. A pre-application webinar will be held on 16 November.